In our society where we are not treating every human equally, the condition of the transgender community is very bad. They even fight for their basic fundamental right from the whole world. Going to prison is less hard than becoming a transgender in this society. They are not able to enjoy the rights which are easily enjoyed by other two genders male and female. Majority of transgenders face discrimination in their lifetime by their own family or in employment or education field. But some countries like South America have the most advanced laws for transgender which provide gender identity documents without medical intervention.
Transgender played an important role in the history of India also. They were considered as one who is close to god. They were the sexless watchdogs of Mughals.
What does transgender mean?
Transgender means those individuals whose gender does not match the sex assigned at birth. They are not full female not male, they belong to another category, they feel that they belong to both gender or neither gender. They show the binary or non-binary concept of gender. Some transgender identifies as male or female and some of them as genderqueer, nonbinary, agender.
Like other human beings, they also enjoy fundamental rights such as the right to life, liberty, equality, privacy, speech and expression but their natural or human rights constantly violate from a long time.
What problems are faced by the transgender?
In this modern world where everything possible day by day which we never imagine and on other hand this world deal with such communities which even don’t get their basic rights so it shows contradictory nature because at one hand the thinking is much wide up and on other hand it become so small. Same small thinking of the society is faced by the transgender community in their daily life. They still face discrimination, social stigma and social inequality. Some of the issues faced by transgender community are-:
Document Identification-As legal gender recognition is also considered as fundamental right but majority of transgenders in world are not able to obtain official documents which show their gender identity or name chosen by them. Because the process for changing gender identity in official document is very expensive and full of unnecessary roadblocks which include psychiatric diagnoses and confinement, hormone therapy, forced sterilization, castration, and genital surgery so it is unaffordable for any member of the transgender community and humiliating also.
Poverty- Because of lack of legal protection transgender face unemployment. National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that the majority of transgender lives in severe poverty. And those are black in colour face extreme poverty in comparison to transgender people of other races. They face discrimination in education, employment fields which become the major reason for poverty. As a result, they are unable to afford basic necessities which lead to homelessnessand after that many of them engaged in underground economies like drug sale, sex work which increase for violence and arrest.
Depression- Transgender face depression and sadness in their daily life as schedule which is proved by various surveys like the survey of National Transgender Discrimination Survey which shows that 26% transgender lost their job because of bias, 50% were harassed at job time, 78% students were assaulted and harassed in their education life. HRC also take a survey which shows how 22 transgender killed in 2019 by fatal violence.
Transgender as Human Rights in Contemporary World
In Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Right, it is mentioned that – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. But the transgender community did not live freely and equally as compared to other two genders so it shows a clear violation of their human right.
In 2010 Parliamentary Assembly of Europe adopted a resolution which said no discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.
On 2015 United Nation High Commissioner for Human Right stated to issue legal identity documents that show their gender which is free from such abusive conditions like sterilization, forced treatment and divorce. A report of 2015 World Health Organization also stated to fully recognize each person gender identity without any medical requirement or discrimination.
Transgender Scenario in India
Now in India also, condition of transgender community improve day by day by continuously trying to protect their human rights. In 2014 Supreme Court gave judgement and gave transgender the right to self-identify without sex reassignment surgery which is interpreted from article 19 freedom of expression of Indian Constitution. They also got equal access to education, health, employment and protection from discrimination. Then on the basis of this judgement a bill passed by parliament and become an act known as Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Act. This act also talkabout most problematic topic which is ‘washroom’ as transgender people face harassment when they use the washroom in public and in schools.
Recently in 2019 petition filed by the Assam first transgender judge in Supreme Court on the issue of around 2000 transgenders excluded from National Register of Citizens of Assam. Swati Bidhan also raised the issue and said that register application did not contain ‘others’ as gender category.
In 2017 Supreme Court decriminalise section 377 of IPC, a 158-year-old colonial law which criminalizes consensual gay sex. Supreme Court also stated Right to Privacy for transgenders which is core human right in 21st century.
In India Tamil Nadu was the first state which introduces transgender welfare policy and gave transgender Persons free sex reassignment surgery.
Transgender rights are part of human rights. It is natural right of every person whether that person is of any gender enjoy freedom to learn, love, work and play. We know that gender is not in our hand it depends on genes, hormones or environmental factor but after that we discriminate the transgender community. In recent years the law, policies and attitudes of social change and allow more transgender people to live safer and healthier life. It is the duty of Government to engage with transgender to easily understand their concerns and support then whenever their human right violate. NCTE (National Centre for Transgender Equality) believes that the progress of the transgender community require social justice approach that fight with all form of discrimination.
“The views of the authors are personal“
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity?
Gender identity means knowledge of internal gender but sexual orientation means the person whom you are attracted. If we have a knowledge that we are either male, female or another gender then it is gender identity but if anyone is male andattracted toward female then it is his sexual orientation.
What is Yogyakarta Principle?
These are the set of principles written on the application of human right law shows relation of gender identity and sexual orientation. They promise for the future were all born free and equal in dignity.